Older than the New York Stock Exchange, with members of both the Molson and Coors families still sitting on the board, Molson Coors is not the type of company to take a big risk.
But in its latest episode, Harvard Business Review’s Cold Call podcast looks at then-CEO Mark Hunter’s decision to “dive head-first” into the cannabis drinks space, with a $65 million investment and the creation of Truss Beverages, a joint venture with Canada’s HEXO company.
Innovation isn’t easy
Featuring Harvard Business School professors Derek van Bever and Steve Kaufman, the episode unpacks their latest case study, Beyond Beer: Brewing Innovation at Molson Coors. At the heart of the study are questions like, why do so many big companies struggle to launch innovative new products? And what does it take to buck the trend?
A bevy of brands
Since forming in 2018, Truss has launched five cannabis drinks brands: House of Terpenes, XMG, Veryvell, Little Victory and Mollo. In November, they’re launching a new brand called Bedfellows.
HEXO announced that co-founder and CEO Sebastien St-Louis had resigned from the role after an activist investor complained about the company’s performance. Yesterday, Truss CEO Scott Cooper was named as his replacement. According to the press release, Cooper “will continue simultaneously in his current role as CEO of Truss Beverages to ensure a smooth transition for the business.”
“I look forward to working with the team to build upon the strong foundation already built, particularly through the company’s recent acquisitions and to drive growth and profitability through the efficient commercialization of cannabis consumer packaged goods,” he said. “I want to thank outgoing CEO Sebastien St-Louis for his tremendous effort in establishing growth and delivering a solid position from which [we] can move forward.”